All posts in “Social Media”

Woman in room with yellow wallpaper

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: beauty in the breakdown; environmental impact on well-being; the trouble with “colorblind” racial attitudes; anxieties about death; fostering empathy via Facebook.

The sanity of madness. We are programmed to feel like we always need to be on top of our game but sometimes a “good” breakdown can allow us to reconnect with ourselves. From Alexa Erickson via Collective Evolution.

The world around us. Environments can have a detrimental or beneficial influence on our well-being and decision-making. From Frontiers via Psy Post.

Seeing color. Claiming to be blind to race can discount and alienate those who experience racial inequalities. From University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign via PHYS.

Facing mortality. The fear of death underlies most of our fears and phobias. From Lisa Iverach via The Conversation.

Social interaction. In a new study, adolescents who frequently use social media increased their levels of both cognitive and affective empathy. From Tom Jacobs via Pacific Standard.



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Image: flickr/JD Hancock CC-BY-2.0

Mural of people's faces

#GeekReads: 4 Quick Reads + 1 Watch that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the surge of singlehood; hashtag activism; moral flip-flopping; universal story structure; irrational preferences.

Families of choice. There has been a shift in the traditional form of family, from marriage and nuclear families to more of an emphasis on individualism. From Bella DePaulo via Nautilus.

#Change. New research from American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact examines the power of hashtags to ignite movement in social change. From American University via PsyPost.

Moral flip-flopping. Research suggests that, for most individuals, moral character is very stable and not so likely to change. From Gerry Everding via Futurity.

From exposition to denouement. Professor Paul Zak discusses the effects of the classic dramatic arc on our brain chemistry, and ultimately on our decisions and actions. From Future of Storytelling via Aeon.

Rationalizing being irrational. A new study examines how our irrational choices go hand in hand with making better choices overall. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.


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Image: flickr/Garry Knight CC BY 2.0

Weighing the brain and heart on a scale

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: a new age of news; emotions vs. reason; how television can inspire altruism; extreme do-gooders; gender bias in the media.

Social media bubbles. Viral news sources, tailored to individual users’ likes and profile characteristics, are contributing to a growing news gap. From Angela Phillips via The Conversation.

Emotion-driven morality. Harvard psychology professor Joshua Greene examines the role of emotions in our moral decision-making. From Lauren Cassani Davis via The Atlantic.

Meaningful media. A recent study suggests people are willing to help others from different groups after watching meaningful, uplifting media. From Penn State via PsyPost.

Extreme altruists. Theoretically, the world would be a better place if we were all do-gooders all of the time, but one author studies the realistic implications. From Regan J. Penaluna via Nautilus.

Seen, not heard. New research finds that women are more often seen in media via pictures than heard through their stories or opinions. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.


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Image: flickr/Ajari CC BY 2.0

Head tilt shadows

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads; expressive head movements; looking abroad for policy solutions; innovations in online campaigning; sad songs and the brain; the pros and cons of collaborative problem-solving.

It’s all in your head. Study finds people can accurately use head movements to judge emotions, even in the absence of sound or facial expressions. From McGill University via PsyPost.

Overcoming “exceptionalism.” Political scientist Dominic Tierney argues that America could learn much from policy solutions implemented in other countries. Via The Atlantic.

Target audiences. Political campaigns are using social networks like never before to quickly and effectively send out their political message to target audiences. From Scott Detrow via NPR.

Musical distraction. A study of the effects of music on the brain explores why sad music distracts some listeners from their negative feelings, while exacerbating anxiety for others. From Lori Chandler via Big Think.

The pros and cons of clustering. A study finds that collaboration and connectedness can increase efficiency in sorting through information, but may inhibit diversity in problem-solving approaches. From Sara Rimer via Futurity.

Female scientist legos

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: female pioneers in STEM; what lies under the hood of our brains; a pop culture website uniting young Muslims; behind the scenes with Charlie Brown and Snoopy; why we “miswant.”

Women of science. In celebration of Ada Lovelace Day (October 13th), Futurity honors the achievements of pioneering women in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. From University of Melbourne via Futurity.

Our inner cosmos. David Eagleman’s new PBS documentary explores the ways “objective reality” is shaped by our subconscious. From Big Think Editors via Big Think.

Mozzies. Mozzified, a Muslim pop culture website, provides a light-hearted space for young Muslims to come together in community. From Leah Donnella via NPR.

Good grief. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, outwardly simple, laid out a complex drama of social coping that depended on readers’ empathy. From Sarah Boxer via The Atlantic.

Miscalibrated expectations.Miswanting” is the name given for the scrambled logic behind our wants, and our tendency to poorly align those wants with what we’ll actually enjoy. From Michael Fitzgerald via Pacific Standard.


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Image: flickr/Maia Weinstock, CC by 2.0

Einstein Robot with Microscope

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: constructing consciousness; choosing empathy; functions of the hippocampus; embracing change; social media echo chambers.

Build-a-brain.  Is it possible to construct consciousness in an artificial brain? From Michael Graziano via Aeon.

Limitless empathy. Research suggests that empathy is a choice and how much we choose to empathize depends on what we want to feel.  From Daryl Cameron, Michael Inzlicht, and William A. Cunningham via The New York Times.

Social mapping. The hippocampus, which is a region in the brain responsible for telling people how near or far an object is, may also guide how emotionally close we feel to others and how we rank them socially. From Mount Sinai School of Medicine via Psy Post.

Managing change.  In many aspects of life, change is met with resistance, but discussing anticipated problems helps to create an environment of synergy and support. From Joseph Grenny via Psychology Today.

Social media extremists.  The self-selecting nature of social media often serves to reinforce rather than expand our political worldviews. From Robert Montenegro via Big Think.


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Image: flickr/Jenn and Tony Bot, CC BY NC 2.0


Doll listens to iPhone

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: iPhone addiction; measuring moral development in children; steer clear of workplace miscommunication; learning through punishment; gaining human perspective from multiple languages.


Separation anxiety. Can you live without your phone? A new study explores the anxiety and irrational fears people experience when parted from their smart devices. From Natalie Shoemaker via Big Think.

False witness. The impact of moral evaluations on decision-making changes with age, which may be important when considering eyewitness testimony. From American Psychological Association via PsyPost.

As clear as mud. Illusions of transparency can make us believe our feelings and intentions are crystal clear, when in fact others are misinterpreting us. From Emily Esfahani Smith via Business Insider.

Learn from your mistakes. While it is commonly believed that rewards elicit desired behavior, recent research suggests that punishments may sometimes serve as stronger motivators. From Gaia Remerowski via Futurity.

Benefits of being bilingual. A new study suggests children who speak multiple languages may have an easier time taking others’ perspectives and communicating effectively. From Nathan Collins via Pacific Standard.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Charles Rodstrom, CC-NC-ND BY 2.0

Two male ibex fight

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter

 In this week’s #GeekReads: avoiding wasteful conflict; the stress of uncertainty; an “empathy pill”; the correlation between age and trust; social media and the human urge to connect.


Mistat for tat. Sometimes we perceive a first-strike attack against us that didn’t actually happen. Tips on avoiding wasteful conflict. From Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. via Psychology Today.

Tell me what to do. Have you ever been so uncertain about something that you wish someone else would make the decision for you? When does uncertainty stop being exciting and start being stressful? From Julie Beck via The Atlantic.

A dose of empathy. A study finds that increased dopamine in the brain may promote fairer, more egalitarian behavior toward strangers. From Natalie Shoemaker via Big Think.

Growing to trust. Across generations, levels of trust seem to increase as we grow older. From Julie Deardorff via Futurity.

Information superhighway. Eric Haseltine Ph.D. goes back three billion years to help explain humans’ accelerating urge to connect in the digital age. Via Psychology Today.


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Image: flickr/Tambako The Jaguar, CC BY 2.0

Dr Strange gives Charlie Brown psychiatric advice

#GeekReads: 4 Quick Reads + 1 Watch that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: debunking dubious “science”; creating network-oriented nonprofits; capturing attention on social media; how trust shapes the brain; fighting anti-Muslim sentiment with comedy.


Neurobollocks. Neuroscience has been used to lend credibility to some dubious claims about human psychology. Dr. Christian Jarrett cuts through the hype in a new video. From Simon Oxenham via Big Think.

The webs we weave. By strategically building social networks that are mobilized around a common goal, nonprofits can increase their impact as movement makers. From Charlie Brown via Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Look over here! How do we rise above the noise on social media? A look into the science of capturing people’s attention. From Will Yakowicz via Big Think.

Can I trust you? Researchers have discovered structural differences in the brain reflecting how trusting people are of others. From University of Georgia via PsyPost.

Laughter is the best cure. Comedian Maz Jobrani uses comedy to challenge Muslim stereotypes and bridge cultural divides. From Robin Wright via The Atlantic.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/JD Hancock, CC BY 2.0

Egg in boiling water

#GeekReads: 4 Quick Reads + 1 Watch that Made Us Smarter

In this week’s #GeekReads: the relationship between stress and empathy; making donation pitches to men; adrenaline’s impact on the heart; ignoring your FOMO; training your brain to block out pain.


Shredding stress. Decreasing stress – even through something as simple as a shared game of Rock Band – may increase your ability to empathize with a stranger’s pain. From Cell Press via PsyPost.

Generous gentlemen. While empathy-based appeals work well for women, research shows that appealing to men’s self-interest helps bring in their donation dollars. From Clinton B. Parker via Futurity.

Scared stiff. Can you really be scared to death? The AsapSCIENCE guys explore the question in a new animated video. From Melissa Dahl via The Science of Us.

Prepare to compare. Social media connections can become a measure of our own success, but does this comparison lead to more stress or appreciation for what we have? From Krystal D’Costa via Business Insider.

Train your brain for pain. Research suggests that people can teach their brains how to block out physical pain. From Jon Hamilton via NPR.


Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.

Image: flickr/Robert McGoldrick, CC BY 2.0

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